biking in the Loire Valley

Jun 3rd, 2000, 07:07 PM
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biking in the Loire Valley


I was wondering whether it would be feasible to rent bikes in Tours to see one or two chateaux at the most (Chenonceau, Cheverny?)in one day. Can anyone recommend a good route or a good book? Are there little towns along the way so we can grab a mid-day meal? Also was wondering whether bike rental shops will be open Sundays and Pentecostal Monday (June 12th).... Thanks in advance.
Jun 4th, 2000, 04:20 AM
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You can probably rent bikes at the train station. I have seen refereence to a french railway website on this forum but haven't remembered what is is.

For a map, get the Michelin map fof the area - scale 1:200,000. Ride only roads marked in yellow or white. Any route on these roads will be good.

The train station of course would be open on those days so I assume the bike rental at the station would be, but I don't know for sure. Certainly banks are closed on Pentecost (as I found out too late one year). I remember that shops and restaurants were open.

The Loire is among the best places in the world to bike - have a great time
Jun 4th, 2000, 05:28 PM
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Check out Rick Steve's France book. He has a suggested itinerary for bike riding in the Loire Valley. Do NOT miss Chenonceau!!
Jun 8th, 2000, 08:06 PM
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It would be hard to make real plans on time if you want to bike. If I were to go back and do bikes, I would end up going down all the little side roads to see what is in the little tuft of trees a half mile down. We did this by car and it was the highlight of our entire trip. Do not set time or distance limits for yourself. Even if you go only a few miles, explore what draws you in. All the treasures are hidden.
Jun 8th, 2000, 08:10 PM
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You selected my 2 favorite chateaux. Cheverny is smaller but very lovely. Plan well. Use the 12:00 to 2:00 closed time for your travel time.
Jun 8th, 2000, 08:16 PM
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More to tell......... If you are going that way, may I suggest a stop in a little town "Samur"? We stayed at the St. Pierre hotel (very nice french feel)in a little alley across from a church. Absolutly wonderful little square right there.

Every time I go to this web site I remember all the wonderful things. Relax enjoy and do not push to do too much. Better to see a few wonderful things than remember driving all the time.
Jun 9th, 2000, 03:02 PM
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If that's really what you want to do, Blois is a better center than Tours. They have several bike rental shops in Blois for that and it's closer to some good chateaux. I think Chenonceau for example is too far from Tours to do that in one day (at least 20 miles one-way), but that's up to you. Amboise is somewhat closer but in a town so not quite the same thing. Maybe Azay-le-Rideau is possible, it's actually not easy to get to by train so bike would be good, but it may be too far also, I know it takes quite a while to get there by train but that's because it's slow and stops a lot. this is too late for you I just saw but I'd expect rental shops to be open on those days and you can order maps on bike routes in France from the French Govt on (stick France Velo in the search box).

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